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Free At Noon Flashback: The Figgs kicked off an exciting Memorial Day weekend

The Figgs | Photo by Megan Lynch
The Figgs | Photo by Megan Lynch

Audience members for this week’s Free at Noon were treated to a special Memorial Day Weekend gift, as The Figgs rocked the downstairs stage at the World Cafe Live. The band was in Philly to promote their new album, Other Planes of Here, their latest release in a long string of releases dating back to 1992. It was a relaxed, yet still rock and roll atmosphere, as lead singer/guitarist Mike Gent ordered a vodka martini in the middle of the set. Songs on the band’s set list for today were “Late Nights and Early Flights,” “Paper Knives” and “Something’s Wrong.” After the radio show, members of the audience got to hear the band do a cover of The Who’s “Happy Jack,” a nice surprise before heading out for Memorial Day Weekend. If you were there or listened on the radio, make sure to check out the band’s performance tonight at Dawson St. Pub. Information for the concert can be found here. Listen back to the set and check out a gallery of photos below. Continue reading →

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Recap: Brian Wilson cruises through NonCOMM Free at Noon

Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Legendary American songwriter Brian Wilson graced the World Cafe Live stage for to kick off day three of the NonCOMM convention.

Wilson, age 72, moved swiftly and seamlessly through a rock n’ rolling setlist. He played songs from his latest album, No Pier Pressure, as well as Beach Boys fan favorites “I Get Around,” “Fun Fun Fun,” “Surfing USA,” ”In My Room,” “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows”.

Wilson was accompanied by a huge backing band playing a diverse array of instruments, including vibraphones, saxophone and harmonica, to perfectly emulate the signature Beach Boys sound. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Jonatha Brooke immerses us in her world through beautiful storytelling

Jonatha Brooke | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Jonatha Brooke | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Folk singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke played downstairs at World Cafe Live for this week’s Free At Noon concert and took the crowd on an emotional journey with her magnificent musical stories.

Brooke explained that she would be playing music from her recent one-woman play My Mother Has Four Noses, a reflection on her relationship with her recently passed mother who she became caretaker of after she became ill with Alzheimer’s. Without missing a beat, she faced the heaviness of the topic head-on with light-hearted quips, explaining that sometimes when you’re in times of pain, you can step back and see the humor in the situations that life places you in. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Lord Huron show their versatility with a surprise stripped-down show

 

Lord Huron | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Lord Huron | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Today’s Free At Noon concert featured folk rockers Lord Huron. The LA natives climbed on stage to a packed house downstairs at World Cafe Live. Frontman Ben Schneider remarked that they may be looking funny with just the four of them seated across the stage, explaining that their bus had broken down in New York earlier that day so they had grabbed what they could and made off for Philly. “We couldn’t miss World Cafe,” he said. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: The Chris Kasper Band filled World Cafe Live with positive vibes and American Beauty

 

Chris Kasper Band | Photo by John Vettese
Chris Kasper Band | Photo by John Vettese

The Chris Kasper Band followed Mason Porter for today’s doubleheader Free At Noon and did not disappoint a packed and eager crowd. Celebrating WXPN’s Day Of The Dead, the fivesome resolved to play the entirety of the Grateful Dead’s sixth studio album American Beauty. They eased into the performance with the first track “Box of Rain” and after delicate harmonies and on-point instrumentals, it seemed they had certainly gained one man’s approval after he bellowed “Hey! You’re good!”, the crowd chuckling in response. The band’s sound was full and precise and emanated feel-good vibes. Solos speckled the performance, with violinist Kiley Ryan owning her instrument and front man Chris Kasper tearing it up on guitar. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Mason Porter get the crowd riled and raucous with Workingman’s Dead

Mason Porter | Photo by John Vettese
Mason Porter | Photo by John Vettese

Meandering onstage to a packed and riled house, Mason Porter kicked off WXPN’s 50 year celebration of The Grateful Dead with energy today. The band declared that they would be playing the full fifth album of the Dead, Workingman’s Dead. Launching into the crowd favorite “Uncle John’s Band”, Mason Porter quickly got the crowd movin’, groovin’ and singing along. The group whipped out insane solos throughout the entirety of the performance – Sarah Larson shredded on the fiddle, displaying the quick fingers of a pro during fast-paced tracks like “Cumberland Blues” and “Easy Wind”.

Larsen and guitarist Paul Wilkinson even held a back-and-forth conversation through their instruments, all the while laughing and smiling. Frontman Joe D’Amico gave an impressive solo on his mandolin, fingerpicking rapidly and receiving a warm response from the crowd. The fivesome ended their performance playing the upbeat classic “Casey Jones” with an ecstatic crowd cheering them on as they trickled off stage. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Turbo Fruits show off No Control at World Cafe Live

Turbo Fruits | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Turbo Fruits | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Nashville garage rockers Turbo Fruits took the stage today following an electric set from The London Souls. The four-piece showed Philly what they were made of with their catchy rock ballads. Guitarist Kingsley Brock whipped out some fun, distorted riffs while frontman Jonas Stein’s grumbling vocals filled the room. The group played tracks exclusively off of their upcoming LP, No Control, set to be released April 20th. Songs like “The Way I Want You” and “Don’t Let Me Break Your Heart Again” put the group’s solid sound on full display and had the crowd movin’ and groovin’, closing out today’s Free At Noon with finesse. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: The Districts give 110% with a charged set at World Cafe Live

The Districts | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
The Districts | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Lititz/Philly natives The Districts took the stage today for this week’s Free At Noon concert with an amped up crowd in tow. The foursome gave it their all as they unleashed their heavy-hearted tunes to a packed audience downstairs at World Cafe Live. After strolling on stage, the group expressed their humble appreciation for the turnout and were sure to mention how good it felt to be back in Philadelphia, that is before they leave on a European tour in a few days.

Playing songs off of their latest album A Flourish and a Spoil, the group showcased amazing musicianship through their passionate playing, with lead singer Rob Grote bouncing around the stage, his curly locks swinging every which way. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Diamond Rugs had the World Cafe Live crowd jumping

Diamond Rugs | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Diamond Rugs | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Diamond Rugs played a short, energizing set for today’s Free at Noon concert. Last month the band released its second album, Cosmetics, following up their self-titled 2012 debut. The supergroup, which consists of members / former members of Deer Tick, The Black Lips, Dead Confederate and Six Finger Satellite, played a selection of songs off their new album, including “Thunk,” which opened the set, “Couldn’t Help It” and “Blame.” Unfortunately the band won’t be playing in Philly any time soon, since they just rocked Ortlieb’s last night. But if by any chance you happen to be in any of these cities at the dates the band’s playing in them, be sure to check them out. Listen back to the performance and check out photos below. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Ron Gallo unveils new tunes downstairs at World Cafe Live

Ron Gallo | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Ron Gallo | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Today’s Free At Noon featured local bluesy alt rocker Ron Gallo, who opened for rock and roll quintet Diamond Rugs. After strolling on stage, he remarked that the event was a bit unexpected, explaining that he woke up to a phonecall telling him “You got a gig.” Now rocking it solo, the former Toy Soldiers frontman unveiled some of his most recent work, solely playing songs off his album currently in the works. Continue reading →